It’s currently World Glaucoma Week (6-12 March)… but what is glaucoma? This month, as part of our Right to Sight campaign with CBM UK, we’re learning all about this eye condition and what CBM and their partner eye hospitals in lower income countries are doing to protect people from glaucoma and prevent them from going irreversibly blind.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Increased pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve, which carries visual information from the eye to the brain. Over time, increased pressure inside the eyeball causes a slow death of nerve fibres. It leads to eye pain, headaches, sickness and loss of vision.
It is vital that glaucoma is diagnosed promptly and treated effectively as without treatment glaucoma causes permanent blindness. Damage to the optic nerve cannot be repaired, but treatment can halt the progress of the disease and prevent further sight loss.
An estimated 76 million people worldwide have glaucoma. 6.9 million of them are blind or visually impaired as a result of the condition [WHO World Report on Vision 2019]. People living in developing countries are much more likely to lose their sight to glaucoma, due to lack of access to eye tests and treatment.
Glaucoma is treated with eye drops, laser treatment or surgery, which relieves pressure on the optic nerve and stops the condition from advancing further.
CBM UK is working in the world’s poorest places to protect people from glaucoma and other blinding conditions, working with eye hospitals and other local partners to: